Previewing Saturday's Pirates-Cardinals game
• After looking like another successful reclamation project undertaken by Ray Searage early on, Edinson Volquez has allowed seven hits and six runs over five innings in each of his last two starts. While Volquez has been hit harder lately, his improved control has remained. Volquez is walking 2.09 batters per nine innings as a Pirate, compared to his 4.6 career mark. What could help Volquez are more strikeouts. Despite similar velocity and swinging-strike rate, Volquez's strikeouts are down in 2014.
• In an era when more pitchers are gravitating toward darting, sinking two-seam fastballs, Cardinals righty Lance Lynn still relies heavily on a four-seam fastball, throwing the 92 mph pitch 60 percent of the time. The Pirates typically hit four-seam fastballs well, owning a collective career .841 OPS against Lynn.
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